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Frequently Asked Questions

Hi There, How Can We Help?

New to ALAVIDA Substance Use

Traditional substance use treatment programs typically require a detox period and a minimum commitment of at least 30-60 days away from home, family, and work. With ALAViDA Substance Use, you don’t need detox—or abstinence—to regain control. You don’t even need to leave your house to privately access your care team from anywhere.

Technology allows people to engage from home on their own time. Secure video conference care was selected over traditional outpatient methods because it provides convenience, privacy, and access to those that can’t travel, be away from home or work, and are ready for change, without compromising outcomes.

We find our members prefer the discretion that in-home care provides. ALAViDA Substance Use members work with their care team for as long as they need support and can access them virtually, making access barrier-free.

Members prefer appointments conducted online. Virtual care is flexible and follow-up is accessible.

Being able to see their care team with one-on-one, secure video sessions means our members can save time and have appointments when it is convenient for them and wherever they feel comfortable – at home, work, even outside or from their car.

ALAViDA Substance Use’s headquarters are in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Our service has been available since September 2016 and is currently accessible globally in English, French, or Spanish.

Do you wish you didn’t need to take something to unwind? Perhaps you enjoy celebrating with loved ones or feel the need to socialize with coworkers, but have problems stopping once you start drinking or using. Or maybe you haven’t decided you want to give up alcohol completely.

If you feel you want more control over alcohol and other substances, ALAViDA Substance Use can help bridge the gap to achieve and sustain a healthier lifestyle. We can be used for all substances and levels of challenge, as well as for those that just want to be more proactive about their health.

Traditional substance use treatment is centered around group therapy where collective sessions occupy the majority of treatment time. It can be intimidating to sit down in front of a group on day one of treatment and this creates a barrier for many people. At ALAViDA Substance Use we understand the value of group therapy, but we balance that value with each person’s need for privacy and autonomy. We also want to ensure that you get one-on-one attention from your care team to empower you for success your way.

Group therapy is included with treatment as an additional resource, if you wish to participate, but in no way is group therapy a requirement. Each session is led by a care professional and as a participant, you can choose the level of anonymity that you wish for each session. It’s your choice whether you type in questions from behind a screen name, use your real name and full voice and video, or any combination in between when you participate.

For Loved Ones

Whether you are a spouse or parent, substance use affects everyone in the family system. Family members often find themselves nagging, pleading or applying ultimatums to get a person struggling with alcohol or another substance to change. Force and conflict rarely get the expected results leaving everyone feeling frustrated, hopeless, and angry. With the right tools it’s possible to help motivate a loved one to make change.

ALAViDA Substance Use has a team of experts in the treatment of substance use, and which medication prescribed is tailored to each individual based on their needs and situation. It is possible to get a prescription for the medication (i.e. Naltrexone) from a family physician. However, evidence shows that people have better results when medication is combined with therapy.

As professionals, we also know that people benefit from having a private space to talk. Sometimes shame about alcohol or another substance use can keep someone from being honest with family or friends. There can also be feelings of mistrust or betrayal that affect the ability to support each other within a family system. It is not uncommon for one partner to choose change while the other wants to continue drinking.

There is no magic pill that can resolve behavioral patterns and human relationships. Counseling provides nonjudgmental support and skills in a safe and caring environment.

When people think of harm reduction they often associate it with methadone clinics or needle exchanges. It is not often discussed in terms of alcohol or substance use. Simply put, harm reduction is about meeting a person where they are.

For example, ALAViDA Substance Use recognizes that heavy drinking falls on a spectrum of mild to severe. Not all individuals need or want abstinence. The goals for treatment vary significantly depending on how much alcohol and substance consumption is affecting daily life and the individual motivation for change. Some people want to have more control over their substance of choice such as, when or how much they drink.

Others want to reduce their consumption to specific social situations or choose abstinence as an end goal. Many individuals also want to see improvements in their health, work, or family life as part of change. Whatever the treatment goal, harm reduction is about identifying the change that is important to each person and then providing the skills to achieve those goals.

It can be hard for friends and family to wrap their heads around success in a harm reduction model because there is no specific benchmark that defines it. This is distinctly different than abstinence-based programs. Success at ALAViDA Substance Use is based on personal goals. Goals are established and reviewed throughout treatment and may for example include drinking reduction (or abstinence), practicing more control over drinking or using, improving personal or work life, being a better parent or partner, or learning new coping skills.

By booking a Loved One Session with a Licensed Therapist (“Care Team”), I indicate my consent which authorizes ALAViDA Health Ltd. (“ALAViDA Substance Use”) to collect the information needed for the Care Team to deliver the educational session and provide best answers to my questions as possible.

We will never share your personal information with anyone without your prior consent. If you would like to review the ALAViDA PRIVACY POLICY in full, it can be found on our website at the following address:


By accepting this form, I agree that I have given my informed consent to the collection, use, and/or disclosure of my personal information as outlined in the ALAViDA PRIVACY POLICY. I have reviewed the ALAViDA PRIVACY POLICY and understand how ALAViDA Substance Use will use my personal information and the steps that ALAViDA Substance Use is taking to protect my information. I agree that ALAViDA Substance Use can collect, use, and disclose personal information as set out in the ALAViDA PRIVACY POLICY.


I understand that the Loved One Session cost is $100.00 plus applicable taxes.

The Loved One Session will consist of a 40-minute appointment with the Care Team wherein my personal information, treatment programs, and/or other care alternatives will be discussed. I will have the opportunity to ask questions that relate to helping motivate a loved one to make a change and basic information on getting started and understanding how problem drinking develops, how change takes place, and different options for support and treatment with the Care Team. Due to the time-limited nature of the Loved One Session, I understand that I will not have the ability to discuss an assessment of the person struggling with substance use’s mental health or medical history and that this session will not be a comprehensive review of family medical or mental health history.


In the case that an appointment cannot be kept, ALAViDA Substance Use requires 48 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) notice to cancel or reschedule appointments. In the event that I am unable to provide sufficient notice, I understand that my appointment will be considered “missed” and I will be charged in full.


The information discussed with ALAViDA Substance Use’s Care Team is confidential, and is not shared without the client’s written permission except under the following circumstances:

  • If the client is judged to be at serious risk of doing significant harm to himself or herself, or to someone else
  • If the client reports information indicating that a vulnerable person is in need of protection (e.g. a child or elderly person being abused)
  • If the client holds a driver’s license and is not safe to be operating a motor vehicle
  • If records are subpoenaed by a court of law

In addition to these limits, information discussed with ALAViDA’s Substance Use’s Care Team may be shared among other ALAViDA Substance Use care team members for the purposes of providing personalized follow-up after the session, as outlined in the ALAViDA PRIVACY POLICY.

The most widely held belief about ‘alcoholism’ is that it is a disease in the brain, chronic and progressive, and can only be cured by stopping drinking. If alcohol is perceived as the cause of a disease then it makes sense to solve the issue by taking the alcohol away, right?

In reality, heavy drinking is not all the same. There is a range of severity and a range of drinking patterns. Alcohol addiction is a complex interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors. Science tells us that a genetic predisposition can make someone vulnerable to problems with alcohol.

Neuroimaging research shows that prolonged alcohol use contributes to changes in the brain that lead to reduced control over alcohol consumption. At the same time mental health, learning, family systems, and social norms have influence. Every person’s relationship with alcohol is unique to their biology and life experience and treatment needs to draw on all influencing factors to successfully create change.

In other words, heavy drinking is a learned behavior and it can be “un” learned with the right tools and support.

For Employees

ALAViDA Substance Use is designed to fit in with your life and to get you back to feeling and performing your best, which is why 91% of members continue to work while receiving treatment.

Getting help for substance use is hard enough without managing feelings of guilt and shame. And just like getting a cavity filled before a morning meeting, the process should be private.

That is why ALAViDA Substance Use is 100% confidential. While the benefits are provided by your employer, they are not privy to your care team interactions, or your journey on the TRAiL. Our metrics and clinical notes are to ensure your change is achievable and lasting, and that you are well supported throughout the program.

Your information about substance use and change belongs to you. Not only that, but you won’t have to leave home or the office to connect with your care team; all the support you need lives in your smartphone device—it’s easy, convenient, and private.

At ALAViDA Substance Use, you will have a care team working with you depending on your program. We recognize that privacy is important for many clients and we would only speak with your family physician with your permission.

The Science

No, all medications used must be prescribed by a physician.

We do not encourage or promote consumption. For people that are abstinent prior to joining ALAViDA Substance Use, we can provide them a very valuable set of tools and skills that will decrease the intensity and harm of their consumption should they begin to drink alcohol or use a substance again, but in individuals that have been abstinent for a period of time, our care team communicates clearly that abstinence is the best and healthiest thing they can do for themselves.

The difference between ALAViDA Substance Use and traditional programs is that recovery is not one-size-fits-all. If they are in treatment, they can choose abstinence if they and their care team decide that is the best option for them.

ALAViDA Substance Use uses a combination of coaching, therapy, counseling, and support, tailored to the client’s needs. It can include Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET), both of which have been successful in treating heavy drinking. MET helps clients with rapid, internally-motivated change while CBT helps clients change patterns of thinking and behavior. The combination of both the care team and the technology is what makes our solution so effective.

There are a number of evidence-based medications that are non-addictive and typically do not have stimulating or impairing effects. Medications target specific pathways in the brain that contribute to drinking, including blocking the endorphins that provide reward from drinking alcohol, and reducing cravings for alcohol. These effects help clients gradually reduce drinking over time, and enhance clients’ control over their drinking.

Known side effects: The medications physicians prescribe are generally mild with few side effects for most people; however, a small minority may experience nausea, headache, or fatigue when first starting the medications. Many people experience no side effects; those that do typically find that they last only for a short time at the beginning of treatment.

Important note: The medications prescribed do not reduce the effects of alcohol on driving, operating machinery, cognition, and other motor functions. It may actually increase the effects. Patients should adhere to the local laws regarding alcohol use without exception. Medication will not alter the effects of a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) test.

Harm reduction has been extremely successful in high-risk communities. For many of these individuals, abstinence is simply not an option. Vancouver’s harm reduction drug strategies and the Managed Alcohol Programs across Canada are both examples of such programs.


If you forgot your password, you can reset it at any time directly in the TRAiL login page by clicking “Forgot your password?”. You can also click “Here” to reset your password.

If you continue to have issues please reach out to our client services team at: [email protected] and we will help.

It’s possible to access the ALAViDA Substance Use solution from any computer, smartphone, or tablet with internet access.

ALAViDA Substance Use’s Virtual Clinic is a fast and completely secure video solution for meetings and it works on all types of phones, tablets, and computers. To set up for your upcoming appointment, click below to begin downloading.


Let’s Test!
Once you have downloaded and installed the virtual clinic, you can test to see if you’re all set!

Test Virtual Clinic

We currently support all modern browsers and operating systems, with varying versions across most smartphones, laptops and tablets.

For Employers

ALAViDA Substance Use is capable of providing reports for companies with volumes over 1,000 users. Reports include metrics such as:

  • Number of employees who have activated their memberships
  • Number of employees who have added family members to their account
  • Member satisfaction ratings
  • Number of prescriptions, specialist referrals, and other clinical outcomes

To protect members’ privacy, data is reported at an aggregate level only, with controls in place to avoid inadvertent disclosure of individuals’ health records and usage patterns.

ALAViDA Substance Use is sold like most other employee benefits. Our per-employee-per-month product can be purchased directly through us or in partnership with your existing insurance carrier or third-party administrator.

Health solutions like ALAViDA Substance Use are governed by both provincial and federal laws. Provincial laws govern health clinics and have significant punishments for confidentiality breaches. Federal laws govern digital privacy.

All data is encrypted and stored in a SOC2 compliant, Canadian data center.

Substance use is a sensitive topic and messaging is very important. ALAViDA Substance Use has been working with Canadians since 2016 and through customer feedback, we have refined messaging that works. Substance use research and evidence-based methods guide the tools and techniques available, including messaging through our virtual companion, and a broad spectrum of resources available anytime, from any device. ALAViDA Substance Use has webinars suited to informing employers and employees about the different facets of their benefits. ALAViDA serves a gap in the market, and evidence shows that employees are more likely and more comfortable seeking confidential, on-demand care. We recently launched with a healthcare company to 5,000 frontline health workers. We saw 25% participation and feedback was unanimously positive.

Employee Assistance Plans can be a good way for employees to learn about several topics including substance use disorder. ALAViDA Substance Use compliments EAP by offering convenient, confidential clinical treatment before an issue becomes a chronic problem. Our secure digital solution and care team provides the long-term treatment. 91% of those in treatment with ALAViDA Substance Use continue working.

Alcohol and substance use is not a rare problem in Canada or around the world; 19% of Canadians engage in heavy drinking and COVID-19 exacerbated these numbers. There are few other chronic illnesses where getting help is so hard. Employers have an opportunity to be proactive and prevent serious illnesses and costs. ALAViDA Substance Use opens a door for all employees to better understand alcohol and substance use. Our solution is a modern approach to alcohol and substance use. With the support of a proactive care team, 91% of employees treated by ALAViDA Substance Use stay at work. Our programs are built on emerging evidence-based practices and treatment reflects the evolving field of substance use care.

Payment & Billing

This one-hour session is $200 (+GST in Canada). It is a therapist session directed to the loved one dealing with a person struggling with alcohol addiction. It’s ideal for family members who want to gain more knowledge about alcohol use and motivating that person for change, and most importantly, its effects on you and how to affect change in your life towards a healthier lifestyle. A takeaway package is provided with information covered in the consult and tools for next steps. To book a session now, click here.

Yes, our private program is tax deductible as a health expenditure and we accept FSA/HSA accounts.

Full or partial coverage depends on your company, health & benefits provider. Our private program is tax deductible as a health expenditure and we accept FSA/HSA accounts. Please contact us to inquire about possible coverage for you or your loved one.


Full or partial coverage depends on your insurance, company, health & benefits provider. Extended health coverage varies by plan. Our private program is tax deductible as a health expenditure and we accept FSA/HSA accounts. Please contact us to inquire about possible coverage for you or your loved one.

Yes, you may, depending on who is your insurance provider. To help you navigate this process, and for more information about coverage, reach out at 1 888 315 3634 or [email protected].

Yes, our private program is tax deductible as a health expenditure and we accept FSA/HSA accounts. Please contact us to inquire about possible employer or insurance coverage for you or your loved one.

ALAViDA Substance Use is not covered by provincial health benefits, though we are working to build partnerships with other health insurance providers to make our treatment more accessible.

Have questions that aren't answered here?

Contact us to speak to an ALAViDA specialist and learn more.